The Beachcomber Café (Crystal Cove)-Newport Coast
What: The Beachcomber Café (Crystal Cove)
Where: Newport Coast
For: All Ages
My family and I have been coming to the Beachcomber Café and Crystal Cove for almost 10 years. We started when I was in high school and now take the kids with us to eat at this small converted cottage right on the sand. It’s not only in a beautiful location, but the kids can also go to the beach afterwards to play in the tide pools while we make a day out of our stay.
My brother, dad and me at the beach.
The Beachcomber Café is located at the bottom of some cliffs right on the sand in Crystal Cove State Park. You can park at Los Trancos Parking Lot at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Newport Coast Drive. Parking is $15 maximum for all day use with 3 hour validation available if you spend over $15 at the Beachcomber Café (each hour after is $5 with $15 the max fee). There is a shuttle that will drive you from the parking lot to the beach for $1 per person. We generally use the shuttle since we come with kids and our beach gear.
My brother, Mike, and Skylar walking to The Beachcomber Cafe.
If you’re up for it, there is a small pathway that leads to a tunnel connecting the parking lot and beach area. This is a fun hike that we’ve taken a few times that only takes about 10 minutes.
The Beachcomber Café is a restaurant that was formerly a cottage on the beach. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, brunch (on select days) and dinner. Generally, we come for lunch and there has always been a 25 to 40 minute wait. We are not bothered by this since there are so many things to see and do. Child dining options are available for picky eaters, and adult options range from American fare to seafood. You must try the Beachcomber Beignets for dessert. They’re light and fluffy and melt in your mouth. Just be aware that they’re served with a ton of powdered sugar that tends to get everywhere (especially if you have kids!). A full bar is also offered in the back portion of the restaurant. Seating is limited with 70% of seating on a first-come first-serve basis. This means that reservations can fill up quickly, so make sure that you make reservations online (no call-in reservations available) about a week in advance.
Inside of the The Beachcomber Cafe
The beach is in a very secluded area with the coastline peppered by small cottages right on the sand. Since Crystal Cove is a protected California State Park, everything is clean and picked up. The kids love going to the tide pools to find fish and small anemones. There are even rangers that walk around and give the kids Jr. Ranger stickers while telling them about the animals that are swimming in the pools. We bring a lot of sand toys that keep the kids busy for hours. Since it can get windy, we’ve been very successful flying kites.
Walking with Skylar on the beach.
If you don’t have your beach gear, The Beachcomber Café offers firepit and beach rentals! From umbrellas to beach chairs, the Beachcomber has you covered. They also any retail items that you need for a day of fun in the sun from sunblock to hats and towels. Visit their website for pricing.
View of the Beach and Restaurant.
Cute shops line the walkway down towards The Beachcomber Café. You can browse a selection of beach-themed knick-knacks and art while walking through a shop that was also once a small cottage. Another cottage is a snapshot from the 1970s and contains the history of Crystal Cove with plaques of sponsors of the park. Rental cottages are available at crystalcovebeachcottages.org through Reserve America. From what I heard, the waitlist for reserving these cottages is many months long.
Sitting areas around the shops and restaurants.
Every time we come here, there are not too many people. Although the restaurant is mostly at capacity, there is always a lot to do. This is a very family friendly area that is secluded from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Expect to spend about $15-$20 at The Beachcomber Café per person for lunch or dinner. Dessert is about $9 with drinks approximately $12. For the location and atmosphere, this price is definitely worth the dining experience. Parking is $15 with the shuttle costing $8 for four people both ways. We come back here about 2-3 times per year and stay for an entire day.
Skylar eating dessert at the Restaurant.
The Beachcomber Café Information
15 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast, CA 92657
Thanks for reading! If you’ve ever been to The Beachcomber Cafe, please comment on this post! Also, if you have suggestions of other places to go in the Greater Los Angeles Area, please let me know by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org